The writing is very sharp and it really explores what it means to be in a relationship and the nature of love.
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan have perfect chemistry and were both at the top of their game when this movie was released in the summer of 1989. (Spoiler Alert)
It is clear that these two title characters are meant to be together, but it takes them a long time to figure it out. It’s actually great to see the awkwardness around their first meeting and how that grows into a good friendship.
The influence of this movie is abundantly clear when you can see how many times the diner scene has been reenacted in commercials, other movies, television shows, and comedy sketches.
Maybe, I’m just a hopeless romantic but this story has always spoken to me. I’ve seen it dozens of times and I never tire of watching it. If I’m flipping through channels on the television and it is on, I will always stop, drop what I am doing, and watch it. There are very few movies that have that pull on me. I also have it on DVD so I can watch it whenever I choose to. And that’s why this is my favourite movie of all time.
Here’s a great piece of dialogue about marriage and the possibility of divorce.
Harry: “Right now everything is great, everyone is happy, everyone is in love and that is wonderful. But you gotta know that sooner or later you’re gonna be screaming at each other about who’s gonna get this dish. This eight dollar dish will cost you a thousand dollars in phone calls to the legal firm of That’s Mine, This Is Yours.”
Harry: “Please, Jess, Marie. Do me a favor, for your own good, put your name in your books right now before they get mixed up and you won’t know whose is whose. ‘Cause someday, believe it or not, you’ll go 15 rounds over who’s gonna get this coffee table. This stupid, wagon wheel, Roy Rogers, garage sale COFFEE TABLE.”
Jess: “I thought you liked it?”
Harry: “I was being nice!”
And I’ll leave you with a great speech that Harry gives when he finally figures out that he wants to be with Sally.
“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
How can you not love that? If you haven’t seen this film, you’re missing out. I highly recommend it and I’m sure, that for me, it will hold the Best Movie Ever title for another twenty years.